WWE presented its final Monday Night Raw before its final pay-per-view offering of 2015, Tables, Ladders and Chairs, and if I had to sum up this week's program in one word, it would be bizarre.
I know most people might use another word that begins with the letter "b" (bad), but I found this week's offering more bizarre than bad. It left me scratching my head on multiple occasions, as I wondered what in the heck was going on.
The show started with something besides The Authority, which was a plus, but eventually led to a 16-man fatal four-way elimination match that featured, of all things, Rhyno's first appearance on Raw in probably a decade.
While it was cool to see Rhyno, a 16-man. fatal four-way elimination tag team match at the beginning of the show was probably a bit much. As a matter of fact, it's probably a bit much even for the main event, but I digress.
We also got a match between Jack Swagger and Stardust that the television audience, which is dwindling by the week, got to see probably only half of because WWE came back from commercial after the match had started. Forget entrances -- viewers didn't even hear the opening bell.
And in what was technically the evening's main event, we got the stellar matchup of Braun Strowman against Tommy Dreamer. I'm not joking.
Also, there were a lot of segments that overstayed their welcome, as it looked as if WWE spent most of the program after the opening segment looking for ways to fill time.
Before I get into more bizarreness, let's run through the full match results from the show, which took place at the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, S.C.:
- Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, The Usos def. The Dudley Boyz, Tommy Dreamer & Rhyno, The Wyatt Family & The League of Nations
- Kevin Owens def. Dolph Ziggler
- Sasha Banks & Naomi def. Alicia Fox & Brie Bella
- The Lucha Dragons def. The New Day
- Rusev vs. Ryback ended in a double count-out
- Jack Swagger def. Stardust
- Braun Strowman def. Tommy Dreamer
Closing segment left a lot to be desired
While I briefly touched on what occurred in the night's opening segment, the outcome of the match played into what took place in the closing segment.
Roman Reigns pinned Sheamus to win the 16-man, fatal four-way elimination match (that's a lot to say) for his team. Yes, Sheamus, the current WWE World Heavyweight champion, was pinned on free television by the man he will defend his title against in less than a week.
But at least Sheamus called out Reigns to a confrontation that would end up with him standing tall as champion, right? Wrong.
Not only did Sheamus get left lying in a heap by Reigns again, but it happened after a pretty dreadful closing segment that put the final nail in the proverbial coffin of this ever-so-lackluster feud between the two.
It's not the fault of either man. Both are simply doing the best they can with the poor creative direction they are given. There aren't many people who could succeed under these circumstances.
It couldn't have gone worse for either man. Reigns came out and stood on top of a ladder and cut a very Reigns-like promo. Hint: it wasn't a promo you would put among the greatest of all time.
Sheamus eventually walked out and stood outside of the ring for what seemed like forever, as he and Reigns verbally jousted to no one's amusement. I mean this wasn't even close to captivating and what made things worse was that it went for a very long time. Way too long, as a matter of fact. It overstayed its welcome.
To top it off, Reigns was forced to recite a terrible line about Sheamus' potatoes (his testicular fortitude) being the size of tater tots. He even laughed at his own joke. Yikes, that was cringe-inducing.
The two finally shut their yaps long enough to actually fight each other (which also went too long and gave away a lot of what people should have to pay for Sunday) and once again, Sheamus, the WWE World Heavyweight champion, was left looking up at the lights after Reigns speared him through a table. Reigns essentially beat him twice in one night.
First, let's go through this segment in a vacuum. It was flat-out bad. I don't see how this segment could make anyone look forward to seeing this match Sunday -- a match that I think will still turn out to be pretty darn good despite its lackluster creative. It went on way too long and nothing memorable happened. Just nothing.
Then, you have Sheamus go down twice in one night at the hands of Reigns. But my problem isn't really with the closing segment. My biggest gripe was really with the match in the beginning of the show.
Why have Sheamus get pinned? Anyone on his team could have gotten pinned, but Sheamus had to get pinned. I don't understand that.
And people wonder why many prefer NXT more than WWE at the moment. It's because it makes you anticipate the matches on the big shows by saving them for the big shows instead of giving them away three or four times beforehand.
Again, none of it made sense.
Champions are losing as if it's going out of style
Sheamus wasn't the only champion to be pinned by one of his challengers on Raw, as The New Day were pinned by The Lucha Dragons, six days before the two teams, along with The Usos, take part in a triple-threat ladder match at TLC for the WWE Tag Team championship.
WWE has non-finishes all the time, but it uses them for matches that don't warrant them such as Rusev vs. Ryback.
But when it comes to champions, who should be looked at in a different light than everyone else on the roster, they get pinned as if it's going out of style.
There has to be a better way to build credibility for challengers other than having them beat the champions because doing so does not create a stronger challenger. It creates only a weaker champion.
The Lucha Dragons could have beaten any other tag team on the roster and you could have still made them look credible in the process. Nope. They had to beat the champs.
What is happening between Charlotte, Paige?
At least I have a general idea of what's going on in the tag-team title scene. However, in the WWE Divas title picture, I have no idea what's happening.
It was just two weeks ago that Paige (in character) said some harsh things about Charlotte's deceased brother Reid. While that created a firestorm of controversy directed at WWE, it was intended to make Paige look like the most evil woman that has ever lived.
Not even a month later, we have Charlotte slowly turning heel with her legendary father, Ric Flair. The duo showed off matching Rolex watches, and Charlotte dressed in all black and even spoke in a very arrogant tone.
While I like the change in character for her long-term, it just seems odd after what transpired before Survivor Series.
On top of that, she almost put Paige in the role of the babyface. Wait a minute -- wasn't Paige the one who had said nasty things about Charlotte's dead brother?
Despite that, The Miz brought her out as if she was the babyface who was going to confront the trash-talking heel.
Eventually, Paige hauled off and slapped Ric Flair, which was cool, but would have been way cooler if Flair and Charlotte didn't heel it up just minutes before.
Whatever momentum the so-called "Divas Revolution" had disappeared a long time ago, but apparently, not much has changed since it started. That's because WWE still has a problem with making one of the female wrestlers likeable.
Right now, the top babyface in the division is technically Becky Lynch and most of the Raw audience doesn't even know why they cheer for her.
The divas division has been a mess for quite some time, but it might be past the point of repair.
I can't even say that their in-ring prowess will make up for all of the creative missteps because that depends on whether they get enough time in the ring to showcase that prowess.
The New Day, Team B.A.D. unite
These two teams have united multiple times on social media, but they finally united on WWE television Monday when The New Day ran to the ring after Sasha Banks and Naomi defeated Brie Bella and Alicia Fox, and handed them their new unicorn headbands.
Although the headbands look absolutely ridiculous, Team B.A.D. accepted them and shook their butts with The New Day to form what's called B.A.D. Day. I will never complain about Naomi and Banks shaking their butts. Nope. Can't do it.
However, I can say that it seems kind of weird to have Banks involved with a comedy act such as The New Day.
Banks has the potential not only to be the top female star in wrestling but also the top star overall. She is the total package and is already among the best wrestlers in the world at the young age of 23. The sky's the limit for her.
While I'm happy she is being featured on television finally, I'm afraid that this will get her pigeon-holed as a comedy act. While the fun and games work for The New Day, they might not for Banks.
While I say that, part of me believes that if there's anyone who could make this work without squandering Banks' potential, it's The New Day. I'm interested in seeing where this partnership goes.
Ambrose-Owens angle was really bad
One thing that really disappointed me was the so-so angle between Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens.
Ambrose and Owens are slated to clash for the WWE Intercontinental championship at TLC in what should be a very good match. However, their final angle on Raw was so bad and lacked the creativity needed to get guys such as Ambrose and Owens over. It was actually a disservice to their characters, in my opinion.
After Owens beat Dolph Ziggler in a decent match, Ambrose walked to the ring with a bucket of movie popcorn and a soda.
Ambrose then got in the ring and stood face-to-face with Owens while he yelled about his music not playing after his victory. Ambrose then threw the popcorn and soda into Owens' face and left while Owens stood in the ring fuming.
That's it? That's all we can get out of people as talented as Ambrose and Owens? That's the best WWE could come up with to sell this match one last time before the pay-per-view? If so, that's pretty sad.
While it should be against the law to waste so much tasty movie popcorn, it didn't make Ambrose look any more like a lunatic. He's supposed to be dangerous, so watch out so he doesn't throw that popcorn in your face! That butter could burn your eyes!
On top of that, Owens was thwarted by soda. Owens, the big, bad tough guy who beat John Cena in his first match on the main roster, was taken down by a large Coca-Cola that probably cost $9 at the concession stand.
Alberto Del Rio secedes from MexAmerica
In what was a welcome sign, Alberto Del Rio ended his strange partnership with Zeb Colter on Monday night.
WWE clearly used this pairing to get shock value for Del Rio's return at Hell in a Cell and very little was planned moving forward. It was evident in how directionless the two were after just one night.
Again, this is not the fault of the talent. It is just WWE's creative process swallowing another act whole.
By the way, what's the point of Del Rio facing Swagger in a chairs match at TLC if Colter is no longer in the picture? That is, unless Colter reunites with Swagger, but who would really care about that at this point?